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Progress in Curriculum for Excellence

Progress in Curriculum for Excellence

An important focus of Curriculum for Excellence is learners reflecting on their achievements and taking responsibility for their own learning. It is part of 'Assessment is for Learning' (AIFL). This is why the learning experiences and outcomes in Curriculum for Excellence use phrases such as 'I can...' and 'I am able to...'

Greater ownership of personal learning leads to confidence and a sense of success through achievement.

Across learning, children will make progress by developing their learning and thinking skills. For example, a pupil may begin by remembering information, then move on to understanding it, before applying it, analysing it, evaluating it and finally creating a new idea with it. The development of thinking skills is central to Curriculum for Excellence.

These transferable skills will equip pupils for the world of further and higher education, for work and for life.

Assessment is a central part of everyday learning and teaching for children and young people. Teachers gather evidence on an ongoing and informal basis through asking questions, observing children working together and making comments on their work.

Children may assess their own work or that of their classmates. Some assessment is more formal, such as projects, investigations, case studies and tests.

The assessment of children’s progress throughout primary school and in secondary S1–S3 is based on teachers’ views: their “professional judgement”.

In making these judgements, teachers draw on their professional knowledge and understanding of the child;

  • on the benchmarks for literacy and numeracy, which provide clear information about what children and young people should be able to do and demonstrate by the end of a Curriculum for Excellence level; and
  • on a wide range of assessment information. From S4 - S6, assessment includes national qualifications overseen by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

At the end of every school year teachers are asked whether children have achieved the relevant Curriculum for Excellence level for their stage in reading, writing, talking and listening (literacy), and their ability to understand and work with numbers (numeracy).

Most children are expected to have achieved -

  • the early level by the end of P1
  • first level by the end of P4
  • second level by the end of P7
  • third and fourth level by the end of S3

The Scottish Government publishes the information received from teachers, to show the percentage of children who have achieved Curriculum for Excellence levels in literacy and numeracy in individual schools, across councils and at a national level. No individual child is identifiable from published information. 

How pupil progress will be recognised

  • Assessment - the monitoring and tracking of pupils' learning progress - will be undertaken by teachers throughout the Curriculum 3-18.
  • From ages 3 to 15, this will be carried out within schools and centres. National examples and standards will be used which will be available to teachers on the National Assessment Resource, a website portal for assessment in Scotland.
  • Assessment will involve looking at a broad range of evidence, such as pupils' folios of work, information from day to day learning and teaching, practical application of learning and formal assessment. Assessment will investigate how well children and young people learn, how much they learn and how their learning and thinking skills are developing.
  • Learners and parents will be involved in monitoring and tracking progress, as learners agree and work towards targets.
  • Increasingly, computer tracking of pupil progress will ensure information is readily available.
  • From ages 15 to 18, assessment will include national qualifications overseen by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

For Further Information Contact

Education & Schools
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000